Young people want creative jobs but schools don’t support them, survey shows

Research has found that half of 16-25-year-olds surveyed want to pursue creative careers, but nearly two thirds do not feel they receive adequate guidance to do so by teachers or career advisers.

Research has shown that half of young people surveyed want to pursue a job in the creative industries, but the majority do not feel informed about careers in the sector.

The survey has been conducted by market research company OnePoll for London-based higher education academy Escape Studios, which offers university-level courses in visual effects (VFX), game art, animation and motion graphics.

1,000 people surveyed across UK

Data was gathered from 1,000 respondents across the UK, including 500 16-25-year-olds and 500 parents with at least one child aged 16-25. The majority – roughly 30% – of these 1,000 respondents came from London and the South East.

Half – 49% – of the young people surveyed said they would like a job in the creative industries, with this figure increasing to 70% for 16-18-year-olds.

But 62% of all students said they do not feel they receive adequate information about creative careers at school from career advisors or teachers.

“A lack of information about employability in creative industries”

Roughly half – 47% – of all students surveyed also said they felt pressure to choose a “traditional” career.

Shanae Bedford, a student in animation and VFX at Escape Studios, says: “During secondary school, I felt unconfident to undertake courses in the creative industries as these were not deemed a ‘traditional route’ by teachers and career advisors. There was a lack of information about employability in the creative industries, leaving students lost when choosing their options.”

24% of parents would “prevent” children taking creative jobs

The research also found that some parents do not encourage students to take on creative subjects at university. A quarter of parents surveyed were concerned that creative jobs “lack longevity”, while a third believe the sector is too competitive and a fifth view it as underpaid. A quarter also said they would “actively prevent” their child pursuing a creative career.

Dr Ian Palmer, director at Escape Studios, says: “We’re thrilled to see such a high percentage of UK students are showing an interest [in the creative industries].

“However, it’s concerning to learn the workforce of the future feels they are lacking the right kind of support while in secondary education and at home. If we are to support the continuing success of the UK’s creative industries, we need to take a bottom-up approach to nurture future talent.”

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  • Benjamin January 15, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Schools should focus more on nurturing creative and artistic minds. I can really relate to this topic, my school wasn’t much help when it came to creative classes. Schools need to have more artistic classes for kids to get out their imagination, people know that the current public school system aways cuts the electives before main courses like math and science. But in recent years that idea of having to memorize everything for a test isn’t going to make you successful. There have been studies on how well children retain the information and many forget the information right after the test. Art is a great way to express emotion and keep a student engaged. In this electronic and faceless age devoid of personal interaction, artistry might be the key to helping people both emotionally and educationally.

  • RitaSue Siegel January 15, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    I think the words “creative industries” is a problem. That label is not used in the US. I think if instead web design, user interface, animation, motion design, product design, sporting goods, including equipment, accessories and apparel, graphic design, package design, medical instruments design, robots, transportation design, interior design and architecture, etc., were used instead by the survey takers talking to teachers, students, and parents, the results would be very different. In the US I would have trouble defining “creative industries” without including computer science, software design, artificial intelligence, data comprehension. There is also lack of the use of the label STEM which is not clearly understood, and the preferred label of STEAM; where Art (including, music, literature and the visual arts) are given the same dignity by inclusion given to specialists in technology, science, engineering and math. These specialists also fall in the description of “creative.” Calling a group of people “creative” means that people outside the group are not. DesignWeek can fill the vacancy for information and common sense about what designers do. Perhaps subscriptions can be made available for free or reduced charge and be offered to teachers and students. Suggestions to reporters that using terms and information less specialized people will understand could encourage, inspire and inform readers who are not designers

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